The Bubble Act: Its Passage and Its Effects on Business Organization

Ron Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By surveying contemporary sources this article reveals direct evidence for the involvement of the South Sea Company in the passage of the Bubble Act. The dominant position of the Company and of its national debt conversion scheme in the affairs of England in 1720 support the conclusion that the act was in fact a. piece of special-interest legislation for the Company. The short-term interest that motivated the enactment, together with the limited legal and economic effects of the act, minimized its significance as a turning point in the long-term development of the English joint-stock company.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-627
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic History
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1994


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